Payday Loans
Edmund Purdom (1924-2009)


  1. Mario Lanza, The Student Prince, 1954.   Lanza simply got too fat.  Or, that was the excuse, the legend, the spin...  What actually happened (when shooting started in 1952) was that the tenor would not be told how to sing by directorCurtis Bernhardt.    Lanza strode off the set and refused  to return as long as Bernhardt remained in charge. A studio injunction then banned Lanza from  performing anywhere for the remaining 15 months of his MGM contract. It was not until May 1953 before MGM secured a deal to make the musical with Purdom miming to Lanza’s  singing - ironically helmed by the guy who had made a Lanza a star with  The Great Caruso, 1951:   Richard Thorpe. 
  2. Richard Burton, My Cousin Rachel, 1954.    Pretty Purdom’s entrance into Hollywood was testing for Olivuia De Havilland’s cousin. Enter: Burton… ! "I was so broke," Purdom recalled, "that I couldn't afford to pay the doctor's bill when my daughter was born. I had no money for bus fare. I had to walk from studio to studio looking for a job. Once we were evicted for not paying the rent."
  3. Bill Travers, Bhowani Junction,  1955.     MGM  made lohn Masters’  India novel in… Pakistan! After  quickly selecting Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger and proving undecided about Taylor, the oafish “cheechee”  railway station manager.    Edmund Purdom, Cornel Wilde or Michael Wilding?  Purdom simply split, and for some reason, Travers knocked the other two out of the park.  Because  he was surly and lost looking? 
  4. Roger Moore, Diane, 1956.      Moore was less. But Lana Turner catergorically refused Purdom, her co-star from The Prodigal.
  5. Tyrone Power, The Eddy Duchin Story, 1955.  MGM first tried to buy Leo Katcher’s version of the tragic life of the 30s/40s pianist-bandleader for Purdom.  Talks collapsed and Columbia nipped in. After The Prodigal, 1954, Lana Turner called  Purdom, “a young man with a remarkably high opinion of himself. His pomposity was hard enough to bear; worse yet was the garlic breath he brought back from lunch.”
  6. Anthony Perkins, Green Mansions, 1958.    Director Vincente Minnelli shut down   shooting of Alan Jay Lerner's   script   -   on producer Arthur Freed's orders.   Purdom and co-star Pier Angeli next met up, with careers in the doldrums, in Italy’s   L'Ammutinamentio, 1961, by  Silvio Amadio.   Who?  Exactly!
  7. Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur, 1958.   For  the MGMighty $5m epic re-make, the favourite for the hero was a disinterested Marlon Brando. Director William Wyler (one of the original’s 1924 crew) also studied  Italians Cesare Danova and Vittorio Gassman. Plus Montgomery Clift, Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, Van Johnson, Burt Lancaster -  and Purdom, who had picked up another epic dropped by Brando, The Egyptian, 1953.  Judah Ben-Heston won his Oscar on April 4 1960.


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